Press Briefing

Press Briefing of Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Secretary Salvador S. Panelo

Event Press Briefing
Location Press Briefing Room, New Executive Bldg., Malacanang

ALVIN BALTAZAR/RP:  Magandang umaga MPC; magandang umaga Chief Presidential Legal Counsel and Spokesman Secretary Salvador Panelo.

SEC. PANELO:  Good morning. Bakit wala si Maricel, si Pia, si Ace? Oh ang layo mo kasi, iba ang upuan mo na naman eh; si Miss gorgeous nandito. Kailan ba ang balik ni Ina?

Q:  Ayaw na ata—

SEC. PANELO:  Ayaw na ha, magpapakasal na ha. Nasa chat pa ba siya? Nababasa niya pa, pinapadalhan ko siya eh. Sino pang wala? Bernadette, roll call dapat, nawawala iyong mga—

Okay, we’re done? Eh kung walang nagtatanong eh.

CATHERINE VALENTE/MANILA TIMES:  Sir, can you confirm if the President has already ordered the resignation of the PhilHealth board members?

SEC. PANELO:  No, hindi ba sabi niya he has no doubt on the integrity of the president of PhilHealth.

CATHERINE VALENTE/MANILA TIMES:   At saka, sir, can you confirm din if the President will meet the officials of the PhilHealth this afternoon?

SEC. PANELO:  There is a schedule this afternoon.

CATHERINE VALENTE/MANILA TIMES:   What time, sir?

SEC. PANELO:  Alam mo naman ang schedule ang Presidente eh. But we have a Cabinet meeting at 5:30.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM:  Sir, ano ang agenda doon sa meeting with PhilHealth?

SEC. PANELO:  Ah siguro magre-report sila. Hindi ba he instructed them to make a comprehensive report on what is happening in PhilHealth.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM:   So, just to clarify, sir. Walang mangyayaring sibakan later; walang ia-announce na ganoon si Pangulong Duterte?

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi natin alam iyong mangyayari eh; na kay Presidente lahat iyan. But given that he has publicly acknowledged his trust on the president, I don’t think there will be.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM:  Who will be attending, sir?

SEC. PANELO:  Ay siguro iyong members ng board.

JOYCE BALANCIO/DZMM:  Department of Health also, sir, will be there?

SEC. PANELO:  Ah hindi ko alam, hindi ko alam kung kasama sila roon.

HANNAH SANCHO/SONSHINE RADIO:  Sir, nag-order po si Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte sa National Bureau of investigation na imbestigahan iyong may-ari po ng Well Med, iyong clinic po sa Quezon City na involved po doon sa ghost dialysis treatment and minention din ni President Duterte na gusto niya papuntahin sa Malacañang iyong  may-ari—

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi ba pinapa-aresto niya nga; kasi nga may continuing crime.

HANNAH SANCHO/SONSHINE RADIO:  Gusto din daw ni President papuntahin sa Malacañang and siya mismo daw ang… gusto niyang malaman mismo daw doon sa may-ari bakit daw nagawa nila iyon.

SEC. PANELO:  Yes, confirmed.

HANNAH SANCHO/SONSHINE RADIO:  So, kasama po siya today?

SEC. PANELO:  I don’t think so, wala siya doon sa lisyahan na nakita ko.

HANNAH SANCHO/SONSHINE RADIO:  So, anytime this week puwedeng pumunta ng Malacañang Palace?

SEC. PANELO:  Most likely.

HANNAH SANCHO/SONSHINE RADIO:  Follow up na lang, sir. Fresh directive sa NBI regarding sa investigation—directives po ng Pangulo sa NBI regarding doon sa arrest/investigation doon sa WellMed po?

SEC. PANELO:  The NBI is now already conducting the investigation.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Sir, si President ang nagpatawag doon sa board ‘no?

SEC. PANELO:  Yes.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Sir, he has expressed confidence in the PhilHealth president; but how about the board, sir?

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi ko alam—ito ba mga in-appoint ng… kasabay ni Presidente?

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  Yes.

SEC. PANELO:   Magkakasabay sila? Eh kung magkakasabay sila siguro magkakasama silang may tiwala ang Presidente, unless there is proof that one or two or some of them have been involved. But what I understand is the Phil(Health) Board has been conducting investigation and in fact has filed several administrative complaints, they are the ones claiming the PhilHealth.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  So sir, as far as the modus operandi is concerned, you don’t think that this has a… parang connivance with the PhilHealth Board or anyone from PhilHealth.

SEC. PANELO:  If there is any connivance will be… doon sa baba. But—let’s wait for the investigation.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7:  And as you said iyong reshuffling is totally not out of the question yet?

SEC. PANELO:  Well, everything is possible under this administration.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV:  Sir, can you elaborate po doon sa statement ni Pangulo na he wants reorganization of the PhilHealth?

SEC. PANELO:  Well, depende siguro iyon sa report ng PhilHealth Board, kung ano ang kailangang reorganization. But certainly he wants to clean up the alleged irregularities in the PhilHealth.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV:  Do you think, sir, this is enough para po maiwasan na iyong pagkakaroon ng fraudulent claims? Kasi iyon na po iyong matagal nang problema sa PhilHealth eh.

SEC. PANELO:  Eh kaya nga pinapaimbestigahan niya, di pag nalaman niya ang problema di may solusyon.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV:  How about, sir, doon sa call po ng isang lawmaker particularly po si Senator JV Ejercito na magkaroon ng replacement sa PhilHealth chief, someone who is expert po pagdating sa financial management?

SEC. PANELO:  That’s the call of the President.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV:  Thank you sir.

SEC. PANELO:  We’d like to express our condolences to businessman James Gaisano, who is a personal friend of the President, on the demise of his wife Sendeng [Loo] Gaisano. The President was there from 12 to almost about past 2 o’clock in the morning. And the First Lady, Honeylet, was also there two days before; and also Mayor Sara Duterte.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADIO:  Sir, is he related to the owner of Gaisano Malls in Mindanao?

SEC. PANELO:  Yes, he owns Davao Mall… Gaisano Mall in Davao.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADIO:  Over the weekend also the President ordered CIDG and NBI to shut down iyong Kapa pyramiding scam. So what prompted the President to make the order? Was it because the SEC’s cease-and-desist order? And if he even also received reports about this syndicated estafa activities of this group?

SEC. PANELO:  There had been numerous complaints with the President. In fact me too I have been receiving complaints about certain people there that may have prompted the President from ordering the closure.

REYMUND TINAZA/BOMBO RADIO:  How will the CIDG and the NBI will go about the closure considering na parang even iyong mga members of Kapa ay parang dine-disregard or hindi parang kinikilala iyong permanent cease-and-desist order ng SEC?

SEC. PANELO:  The CIDG would know what to do.

DANIEL:  Kumusta naman po, sir, iyong pag-inspect po ni Presidente kaninang madaling araw sa NAIA Terminal 2, ano po iyong assessment niya and ano po iyong directive—

SEC. PANELO:  Well, I wasn’t there but I saw the news and seen the President apologizes for the inconvenience to the public because of the delays and I understand the head of NAIA committed to the President and they are doing something about the problems in NAIA.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD: Sir, you said you received complaints regarding the company. Can you talk more about those complaints, sir?

SEC. PANELO:  Actually, I talked with two or three passengers in an airplane when I was going to General Santos and these three passengers mentioned something about that – na na-estafa daw sila, initially kala nila totoo and then iyon pala bigla na lang nawala or whatever, basta na-swindle sila.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD:  They mentioned the company, the name of the company?

SEC. PANELO:  Yes.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD:  All right. Sir, is this specific to that company alone, the order of the President or all investments schemes in Mindanao?

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi ko alam exactly iyong statement niya, he could be referring to that particular company. I have to see the transcript.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD:  Sir, what’s the process? Once the President orders CIDG and NBI to close down this company, ano iyong proseso, sir? How do they do that?

SEC. PANELO:  CIDG would know how to do it.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD:  Like do they need a court order or the President’s order is enough?

SEC. PANELO:  If the crime is being committed now, they can stop it; they can padlock that company.

ARJAY BALINBIN/BUSINESS WORLD:  So the President’s order would be enough to close down this company?

SEC. PANELO:   I think so, yes.

JULIE AURELIO/PDI: Sir, balik ko lang doon sa inspection sa NAIA. The inspection was quite unannounced. What prompted the President to visit NAIA?

SEC. PANELO: Eh di iyong mga reklamo ng mga pasahero — ang daming delays.

JULIE AURELIO/PDI: Where did he get the information, sir? From social media or did someone report to him?

SEC. PANELO:  I don’t know where he got it; but he got them. Given the technology, napakadaling malaman ang problema ng kung sino.

JULIE AURELIO/PDI: Given that the President himself went to NAIA to inspect iyong delays, is it likely that heads will roll over the incident or is the President giving them another chance?

SEC. PANELO: Let’s see. He has not made any announcement. Maybe in the Cabinet meeting tonight, he will make some announcement or even discuss the problem there, or department head may discuss it with us.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Sir, the press release regarding the surprise inspection po sa NAIA says, the President vowed to come out with a remedy within a month para po maiwasan iyong mga ganoon problema. Sir, can you elaborate po kung ano po iyong remedy na iyon?

SEC. PANELO: Siguro depende kung ano ang natagpuan ni Presidente na reason for the delay. Kasi kung alam mo iyong delay, alam mo na ang solusyon. Kaya siya nagpunta roon.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Sir, the PR also says here, the President was with Representative Martin Romualdez?

SEC. PANELO: He was there at the wake. Sumama lang siguro siya.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: So, no agenda about—

SEC. PANELO: Wala.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: How about, sir, sa Speakership?

SEC. PANELO: Wala, wala. The President will not interfere on that, we have repeatedly said that.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Do we expect him to be with the President?

SEC. PANELO: Who?

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Representative Romualdez often times?

SEC. PANELO: Nagkataon lang iyon kasi kaibigan din niya si Mr. Gaisano. Nagkita-kita lang doon.

AC NICHOLLS/CNN PHIL: Hi, sir. Sir, over the weekend, the President also mentioned or promised to do something about traffic along EDSA. And he mentioned na maghintay lang daw and pretty soon, it’s going to be a 5-minute travel from Makati to Cubao. What exactly is the President planning or how will he do this? Because a lot of commuters are questioning that promise na parang sinasabi nila that’s impossible.

SEC. PANELO: Surprise!

Q: [OFF MIC] What?

SEC. PANELO: Surprise! He has something on his sleeves.

Q: [OFF MIC]

SEC. PANELO: Yes.

AC NICHOLLS/CNN PHIL: Sir, he said that buti na lang pumunta siya ng China, and China daw, sir, iyong tumulong. Can you give us more details about that?

SEC. PANELO: Tatanungin ko mamaya si Presidente para I can elaborate it tomorrow.

Q: [OFF MIC]

SEC. PANELO: I’ll ask him. I’ll ask him tonight.

AC NICHOLLS/CNN PHIL: Pero this has been … this project has been underway since before or—

SEC. PANELO:  Hindi ko alam. Hindi ko alam.

AC NICHOLLS/CNN PHIL: Pero you said he something up his sleeves.

SEC. PANELO: Siguro, eh bakit siya magsasabi na it will be a 5-minute travel.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Is the President confident that the 18th Congress will grant him the emergency powers that’s why he’s confident enough to say that iyong travel from Cubao to Makati ay five minutes na lang?

SEC. PANELO: I’ll ask him if he’s that confident.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: Pero what do you think, sir, about—

SEC. PANELO: Well, Congress knows what is the problem, so it should know what to do to respond to a situation. After all, they’re there, just like the President, to serve the Filipino people, and that includes putting the riding public in convenient situation.

ROSALIE COZ/UNTV: So with the new composition of the 18th Congress and the three years sa remaining po sa term ng Pangulo ay mapagbibigyan siya doon sa emergency powers to resolve—

SEC. PANELO: Hopefully, they should consider.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, konti lang, balik tayo sa PhilHealth. There’s a proposal from Atty. Harry Roque to suspend for the meantime PhilHealth. What do you think of the proposal?

SEC. PANELO: If he suspends PhilHealth, eh di maraming naapektuhan, eh di maraming hindi makikinabang.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: So that’s a no-no? I mean, you don’t agree?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi maganda iyong idea na iyon.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Parang may hugot iyon, sir?

SEC. PANELO:  Ha?

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Wala. Sabi ko parang may hugot, sir. Wala naman?

SEC. PANELO: May hugot? Hindi maganda ang idea kasi common sense will tell you that if you stop an operation of a public service outfit, then you affect the entire service. Oh di apektado iyong mga tao roon. Kung the problem is irregularities, then you solve the irregularities; you don’t stop the operation. You don’t burn a house just because there are so many rats there.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: You burn the rats. Sir, puwedeng mag-shift lang? Sir, may nahuli yata sa Malacañang compound—

SEC. PANELO: Na rat?

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Well, some kind … similar. Mayroon yata, sir, dito sa compound natin, may mga … doon sa mga area dito, sa mga residential houses.

SEC. PANELO: Na ano?

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Mga drug addicts.

SEC. PANELO: Oh? Parang ngayon ko lang narinig iyan ha.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Yes, sir, mayroon.

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko—ngayon ko lang narinig sa iyo iyan.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Do you want a—

SEC. PANELO: Hindi, I will ask the PSG kung totoo.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Mayroon, sir, mayroon silang coordination with NBI and PSG.

SEC. PANELO: Kaya nga, I’ll ask the PSG about it.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: But what do you think about the brazenness? I mean, they’re right in the Malacañang Complex.

SEC. PANELO: Unang-una, hindi ko pa alam kung totoo so how can I even make—

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Do you want me to read the report?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi eh, may report but I want to know kung totoo.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: You think that’s not possible na may mga drug operations in the complex?

SEC. PANELO: It can be possible or not, but I need to verify.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, comment lang. There is a… I think a Davao journalist ‘no—

SEC. PANELO: A what?

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Davao journalist po, si Ms. Margarita Valle—

SEC. PANELO: Mistaken identity daw iyon ah.

Q: [OFF MIC]

SEC. PANELO: Sabi.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Of course, it’s a mistaken identity. But wala tayong problema, sir, doon na medyo parang we have a problem in probably police intelligence?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi naman dahil kamukhang-kamuha raw eh. Eh kung mistaken identity, the police would owe that journalist an apology.

NESTOR CORRALES/INQUIRER.NET: Sir, may we know the agenda of the Cabinet meeting this afternoon?

SEC. PANELO: Hindi ko pa nakita iyong ano. Usually ‘di ba, sabi ko, binibigay sa amin an hour before the Cabinet meeting.

NESTOR CORRALES/INQUIRER.NET: Another question, sir. From Vice President Robredo, in her radio show yesterday, she said that why would the government reject the United Nations probe if the Duterte government has nothing to hide?

SEC. PANELO: Eh di ba nag-issue na ako ng statement diyan. Kasi iyong basis nila on war on drugs, on violation of human rights ay galing lahat sa oposisyon at saka sa mga detractors ni Presidente na hindi naman napatunayan. They keep on repeating the same false narratives against this government.

Moreover, as I said, those issues were specifically raised during the election campaign, and the electorate repudiated overwhelmingly. And so these rapporteurs should realize by now that iyong mga isyu na niri-raise nila hindi totoo. Ang nangyayari sinisiraan lang nila iyong mga bansa na binabanggit nila.

Moreover, how can you be asking for an investigation when you already concluded that this country has violated certain human rights and has killed many people? So what’s the use of investigating kung may conclusion ka na, ‘di ba?

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, ano lang, si—doon po, regarding Secretary Bautista and the Tulfos ‘no. Si Secretary Bautista demanded a public apology and then some donations to several organizations. But then Erwin Tulfo’s brother, si Ben responded na parang medyo hindi siya agree doon sa conditions ni Secretary Bautista. Would you care to comment on it?

SEC. PANELO:  As we said, the President doesn’t intrude into any conflict between two individuals or groups. So we leave it to them. It’s a personal thing between General Bautista and Mr. Tulfo.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: Sir, do we have updates on the return of the 60 million?

SEC. PANELO:  Oh hindi ba under, supposed to be, either the DOJ or the Ombudsman will be the ones filing that case.

JOSEPH MORONG/GMA7: So the return depends on the outcome of the investigation?

SEC. PANELO: Oh siyempre. They will have to file the appropriate case for that.

ALVIN BALTAZAR/RADYO PILIPINAS: Thank you so much, MPC. Maraming salamat, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel and Spokesperson Secretary Sal Panelo.

SEC. PANELO: Thank you.

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SOURCE: PCOO – NIB (News and Information Bureau)

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